Punter ac­cused of race fix­ing

The Press - - News - David Clark­son

Punter Gra­ham Henry Beirne is one of the men fac­ing race-fix­ing charges as part of the Op­er­a­tion Inca in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the har­ness rac­ing scene.

The 71-year-old Fen­dal­ton man was re­fused name sup­pres­sion at an ap­pear­ance in the Christchurch Dis­trict Court last month, but the or­der was con­tin­ued to give him a chance to file an ap­peal against the re­fusal in the High Court.

Five of the men who were re­fused sup­pres­sion had sig­nalled they were con­sid­er­ing ap­peal­ing.

Four of those filed their ap­peals be­fore the dead­line set by Judge Raoul Neave this week and the High Court is now set­tling a date for the ap­peals to be heard.

Beirne, a Christchurch car in­dus­try king pin, faces two charges of race fix­ing, but the de­tails con­tained in the sum­mary of facts re­main sup­pressed.

He was on hol­i­day in Bali when po­lice raided his home on Septem­ber 4 and ap­par­ently seized com­put­ers and de­vices.

At the time, he told The Press checks and bal­ances in the cur­rent sys­tem made race fix­ing too dif­fi­cult.

‘‘If they are talk­ing race fix­ing, it’s non­sense. It doesn’t hap­pen, so we’ll see what they come up with, but they are ob­vi­ously tak­ing it se­ri­ously be­cause they have raided sta­bles all over the place,’’ he said. He had about 30 horses that were trained by sev­eral train­ers.

De­fence coun­sel Chris Shan­non con­firmed Beirne had de­cided he was not go­ing to ap­peal Judge Neave’s de­ci­sion re­fus­ing sup­pres­sion, and the or­der had now lapsed. Beirne has en­tered no pleas and is re­manded to a re­view hear­ing on De­cem­ber 5. Some of those charged in the Op­er­a­tion Inca in­ves­ti­ga­tion have al­ready pleaded not guilty and have been re­manded to that re­view ses­sion, and then to a case re­view hear­ing on March 25 – the next stage on the way to trial.

Twelve peo­ple charged over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion have been ap­pear­ing in the Christchurch courts.

Gra­ham Beirne

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